At least three people died and 44 were injured in a major explosion Wednesday at a plastics company in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, authorities said.
Among the injured were 13 children who were attending a school located in front of the Polyplas company where the explosion occurred, Maria Gomez, a spokeswoman for the country’s National Health Service, told The Associated Press.
Mayor David Collado told reporters that the fire began when a boiler exploded at the company located in the Villas Agricolas neighborhood. He said the fire had been contained.
Police 1st Lt. Jose Francisco Velez told the AP by phone that authorities were still searching for victims underneath a wide swath of concrete rubble.
“They’re still lifting the bodies,” he said.
Gomez said the injured included three adults who were in critical condition with second- and third-degree burns. Gomez said the injured were being treated at several hospitals in the capital, prompting some to postpone elective surgeries to handle the influx.
The owner of Polyplas, Manuel Diez Cabral, posted several messages on Twitter stating authorities were trying to determine what happened.
“We deeply regret the tragedy,” he wrote. “We still do not know the magnitude of the loss.”
Diez did not immediately return a request for comment.